Kickoff: Sunday, September 27th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Betting Odds: PHI -6, 46.5 Total via Oddsshark
Joe Burrow (Sit)
So far, Joe Burrow has been average according to most statistics and that is perfectly fine for a rookie quarterback. Burrow is the most pressured QB in the NFL, which makes it even more impressive. This matchup is difficult to pin down. The Eagles kept Dwayne Haskins in check but Jared Goff had a strong outing last week. I think the Eagles will be desperate to get their first win and their defensive line will make Burrow’s life difficult.
Joe Mixon (Start, RB2), Gio Bernard (Sit)
Joe Mixon has not controlled the backfield so far like many anticipated. Gio Bernard is still seeing plenty of passing game work and is limiting Mixon’s upside. Mixon did see a small increase in his receiving role last week and we can only hope to see that increase as the season moves on. Mixon has only run into a stacked box on 8.5% of his rushes (Burrow’s value on the offense is already starting to show). As the offense starts to come together around Burrow, Mixon will start to pay off as the RB1 we know he is but it probably won’t be this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
A.J. Green (Start, WR2), Tyler Boyd (Start, Flex), Tee Higgins (Sit), Drew Sample (Stream)
A.J. Green, is he a buy low or a sell low? Green has four red-zone targets, the most deep targets in the NFL, and the most air yards (338). But yet if you watched either of the Bengals games, Green looks a step slower and is struggling to create separation. Only 45% of Green’s targets have been catchable, per PFF, and it does appear that Burrow and Green are not on the same page. Generally, air yards point to regression and I think I want to bet on Green bouncing back, but I left him as a WR2 as there are some legitimate concerns. With Green struggling, Tyler Boyd has been the beneficiary. Boyd has run the most routes in the NFL and has been in the slot for 81% of his snaps. Boyd should continue to be a volume-based Flex play. Tee Higgins is listed here because he has quietly taken over the number three option in the Bengals passing game. John Ross was basically benched last week and Auden Tate was a healthy scratch. Higgins is worth monitoring on your waiver wire. Tight end Drew Sample is a strong streaming option this week, with plenty of upside. The Eagles have allowed four touchdowns to TEs already this year. Sample is also walking into a ton of opportunity with C.J. Uzomah now out for the year. Uzomah was eighth in routes run among TEs and Sample is tied for second in red-zone targets.
Carson Wentz (Sit)
This one is going to come back and burn me, isn’t it? The Bengals are a cake matchup and most QBs will be starts against them, but Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense has just been abysmal the first two weeks. Wentz is the second-worst QB in Ben Baldwin’s EPA and CPOE (he is at minus 6.65… yikes) combined stat. Some of his struggles can be attributed to the rest of the offense. His wide receivers have been inconsistent. Week 1, the offense was missing Miles Sanders and Lane Johnson, and Week 2 the line lost LG Isaac Seumalo. This is already after losing LT Andre Dillard and RG Brandon Brooks. As you can guess, Wentz is the sixth most pressured quarterback. But Wentz still deserves blame, he is missing throws and making bad decisions. Until these things are cleaned up, Wentz should not be on your bench.
Miles Sanders (Start, RB1), Boston Scott (Sit)
Miles Sanders was a bright spot in a week filled with injuries and carnage. Sanders came back from his hamstring injury and fulfilled his promise as a bell cow running back. Sanders was in on 77% of the snaps, had five red-zone carries, and six targets. If that continues, Sanders will be easily meet his top 10 RB draft position. Boston Scott was relegated to the change of pace role. As we saw Week 1, Scott can’t handle a full workload even without Sanders and isn’t startable even as a flex.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
DeSean Jackson (Sit), Jalen Reagor (Sit), Zach Ertz (Start, TE1), Dallas Goedert (Start, TE1)
One of DeSean Jackson or Jalen Reagor can pop any week, with both just needing to connect on a single deep pass. I don’t mind betting on either as Jackson is tied for third in the NFL for deep targets and Reagor is now leading the Eagles receivers in routes run. But with Wentz struggling, I would hold off. Some of the reticence to use Jackson and Reagor stems from Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. The TEs are the focal point of the Eagles passing game and will continue to be this week. Even though they were drafted rounds apart, they are much closer than anticipated. Ertz has run 77 routes (fourth among TEs) and 12 targets. Goedert has run 68 routes (sixth among TEs) and 16 targets. Goedert has doubled Ertz yardage and they both have two red-zone targets. Both are top 10 options at the position and should be started each week.
**Jalen Reagor is likely headed to IR and may not be back until after the Eagles’ Week 9 bye week**
-Frank Costanzo (@FrankQBList on Twitter, Zzzonked92 on Reddit)